Schools in neighboring town where Autumn Pasquale was murdered closed due to school shooting threats
Autumn Leigh Pasquale, 12, a student at New Jersey's Clayton Middle School was brutally strangled to death on October 20, 2012 by a 15-year-old student who attended adjacent Clayton High School. Both schools overlook the cemetery where Autumn is buried.
Following a massive search, Autumn's body was found in a recycling bin located next door to where her teen murderer lived, also in Clayton. Autumn died in her killer's family home. He pled guilty to her murder in 2013 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
The killer's 17-year-old brother, charged as an accomplice in Autumn's murder, was released after serving a few months in a detention facility. In 2019, he was convicted of a 2017 Sicklerville, NJ home invasion robbery, burglary, theft, and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm at the homeowner, and is currently serving a 37 1/2 year prison sentence.
Autumn Leigh Pasquale, Pasquale family collection.
Threats of School Violence in New Jersey
Yesterday, all Vineland public schools were closed in the wake of social media threats of a possible school shooting, one of several made against New Jersey schools and school officials this past week.
Millville High School, located in the same county as Vineland, was the target of other online shooting threats directed toward several high schools. Clayton, the town where Autumn lived and died, is in Gloucester County just one county over from Cumberland County where Vineland and Millville are located.
Additionally, last weekend, two Hackensack, New Jersey Board of Education members were the targets of disturbing death threats.
These frightening episodes occurred at about the same time four children were accused of planning another "Columbine" at Dunmore High School in New Jersey's neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Police report they found bomb-making materials and other evidence at the home of one of the students. Text messages describing plots to shoot up the Scranton-area school were also confiscated.
Two of the four students, both aged 15, were charged as adults for possession of weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault. Two others have been charged as juveniles.
In 2013, a park was named in Autumn's memory in Clayton. It serves as a central gathering place for the residents of this quintessential small American town and a place where children can enjoy the sort of outdoor activities that Autumn loved in her short life.
Autumn's father, Anthony Pasquale, has established a petition in support of "Autumn's Law" on Change.org seeking parental accountability laws as a way to prevent juvenile violence from ever happening and for justice for victims when one occurs.
Parents can be charged criminally if their child is truant from school. They can expect to be sued if their kids get into a crash while operating a parent's car, and will be hit with increased auto insurance premiums. These consequences serves as strong incentives for parents to be accountable for their children.
However, there is no little to no ramifications to parents whose kid take the parent's gun to school, uses the home computer and internet service provided by the parent to make threats of or plan a mass school shooting, or if a kid kills in the parental home. It would have been difficult for Autumn's murder to have occurred in a public place. The privacy and cover of home was necessary.
As of today, nearly 22,000 people have signed the "Autumn's Law" Petition, many of whom, like Mr. Pasquale, have been personally detrimentally and forever impacted by violence perpetuated by juvenile offenders.
Please go here to read the "Autumn's Law" Petition: